In Eau Claire, Wisconsin "probate" refers to the process a court uses to determine whether or not a will is legitimate, thereby deciding if it should be given effect.
In the probate process, an Eau Claire, Wisconsin probate court has many duties, including ruling on a will's validity, making an inventory of the estate's assets, and making note of all the decedent's debts. Once the will is decided to be valid, the court will distribute the property according to its clauses.
Normally, the executor of the estate is named in the will. However, if nobody is named as an executor, the probate court in Eau Claire, Wisconsin will assign an administrator to serve the role as the executor. This is normally the closest adult relative of the decedent, or the person who stands to inherit the most.
The general duty of the executor is to serve as the living incarnation of the estate. Their job is to commence probate proceedings, and see them to completion. If an executor has to be appointed by the court, it will normally be the person who stands to inherit the most from the will, as he or she has an incentive to make every effort to avoid delay.
Duties of the Executor in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
There are quite a few things that an executor is accountable for. At the outset, they are obligated to file the probate action with the appropriate court. No progress, let alone any final disposition of the estate, can be made until this happens.
Furthermore, it's the executor's job to notify all affected parties that the person who made the will has died. "Interested parties" are typically people who are named in the will, or who would inherit the estate if the decedent had died without a will.
There may be various people who are entitled to take under a testator's will, with which the testator may have fallout out of touch years ago. This can make them hard to find, but they need to be found, nonetheless. To that end, the executor is obligated to make a list of everyone who might be able to inherit, whether they're named in the will, or closely related to the testator. Furthermore, they have to make known all of the decedent's major assets and debts.
Because the executor serves as the living representation of the decedent's estate, they are solely accountable for proving the validity of the will. This is a lot of work, but because executors are normally chosen based on how much they stand to inherit from a will once its validity is confirmed, they have a good incentive to see the process to finalization.
How Can A Eau Claire, Wisconsin Lawyer Help?
Because this can be (though isn't always) a fairly intricate process, it's a good idea to get a seasoned probate lawyer in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, especially if you find yourself being the executor of an estate, and aren't sure how to proceed.